The face of the Championship has flipped around a few times since the FD season opener in Long Beach back in April. Chris secured the first place spot with a huge points lead when he took the win at Round 5 in Seattle, his second win and third podium of the season.
Going into Irwindale, Chris and the NOS Energy Drink Nissan 350Z were in first place with a fairly big points lead over Ryan Tuerck. Chris's first place finish was confirmed during the round of 32 when he was matched with Doug Van Den Brink. By winning the battle and advancing to the top 16, Chris gained the points he needed for the Championship win.
Chris has made history for being the first Formula Drift driver to win the Championship with no previous background in another type of motorsport. Previous FD Champions Samuel Hubinette, Rhys Millen, and Tanner Foust all are seasoned drivers of different motorsports. For his outstanding driving throughout the year, as well as his commendable personality on and off the track, Chris was awarded the title of Formula Drift's "Driver of the Year" which was voted by fellow drivers and teams in the series.
"To finish first in Formula Drift, you need consistency," says Chris. "Whether it's in your car, your team, or your driving abilities - consistency is key. Using K&N Filters gives us one thing less to worry about when it comes to the car because we trust in their dependability."
Going into Irwindale, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the 2010 Falken Tire Ford Mustang were in third place, with Samuel Hubinette hot on his trail and less than two points behind him. Adding to the pressure, Tyler McQuarrie followed in fifth only a few more points behind. Vaughn knew that the fight for third place in the Championship was going to be a brutal one. With Tyler's second place finish at Irwindale, he was able to slide past Vaughn in points, pushing Vaughn back to fifth place.
"We have had a great Formula Drift season and were high-risk contenders for the Championship right down till the very last event," says Vaughn. "Finishing fifth overall is no easy task, especially with a new car. I can't wait to implement all of our data with new improvements to chase down that gold in 2010."
Vaughn made history this year when he placed second at Round Three in New Jersey by being the first driver to put a 2010 Ford Mustang on the podium in any professional motorsport. "Driving the 2010 Mustang this year was simply incredible; it performed flawlessly and offered the most reliability I have ever had in my career out of any vehicle. A huge part of that reliability is due to K&N Filters," says Vaughn.
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